Aquarium Designer is a realistic-looking fish tank crafting game. In it, you’ll receive orders from customers like restaurants, hotels, or rich businessmen and you’ll need to create a fish tank based on their preferences. Of course, you’ll need to meet the requirements for the fish, too! As you complete orders, you’ll earn money you can use to buy new elements to upgrade your designs. Pick from a variety of plants, rocks, other decor, and fish. You’ll have access to angelfish, bettas, goldfish, and many more.
You get to choose from two different creation modes in Aquarium Designer, too. Realistic mode is perfect for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Fish and plants can die, plus water quality deteriorates with time, even when the game isn’t active. Casual mode lets you design without the worries of losing fish, plants, or water quality. It’s perfect for when you just want to relax and craft beautiful aquascapes.
Moonfrost is an upcoming free-to-play farming sim, and it is beautiful! How you play and where your journey will take you is completely up to you. You’ll start by customizing your very own character. Decide how you want to look, or who it is you want to create, then embark on your big adventure. Meet a growing cast of characters that range from legendary heroes, ancient evils, and lovable souls. Build friendships as well as find someone to fall in love with!
You’ll also have your very own home and farmstead to care for. Build a beautiful house and decorate it to match your tastes. Plant crops, harvest produce, and care for animals. Moonfrost also has fishing and resource gathering. And if you get bored of farming, go on an adventure through an ever-expanding world where you’ll come across secrets and experience the familiar and the fantastical!
Remember back when desktop computers were chunky, took up a whole desk, and ran Windows ‘95? I do. In fact, my family kept that computer for decades longer than we should have. It still ran, but mostly sat and collected dust as we moved on to sleeker laptop options. There’s a lot of nostalgia surrounding that giant computer, though. From the screaming dial-up internet tones, to using the AOL browser, and all the fun that machine brought, I remember it fondly.
My favorite part, though, was the desktop pets and companions you could download. There were tons to choose from, too. There was Catz and Dogz for those who wanted a real pet, but couldn’t. You fed, watered, and played with your canine or feline fiends. There was even an adorable little sheep. Or, if you were the working type, perhaps you even used Bonzi Buddy who could talk to you, send emails for you, search the web, tell fun facts, and more!
Werydlets Brings The Nostalgia
Now, there’s Werydlets! While not quite the same as that cute little sheep who would run around your desktop, or Neko who would chase your mouse wherever you moved it, Werydlets does exist on your desktop. Choose from Wagyu, a cute little dinosaur, Mochi, who looks like a jackalope, and Gyoza, a sweet little cat. One of them is all yours to care for. You’ll feed and take care of your new little pet by collecting food, toys, and grooming tools. Even pet, tickle, and throw your pet around their habitat!
When you idle, your pet will dig around its island to gather resources like Shinies and Prisms, which can be used to buy more items to enrich their life. Werydlets also lets you dress up your pet, as well as decorate a home! Use stickers, accessories, and ornaments to make your pet even cuter. Then, collect furniture and decor to customize your house.
You can find Werydlets on Steam. The roadmap lists July as the early release, and August as the first live event. Steam lists it as “coming soon”, so hopefully we do get it in August!
Speaking of virtual pets, have you seen that Neopets is making a grand comeback? You can check out the news here.
Was wandering around your island and traveling to other islands in search of all the different bugs in Animal Crossing your favorite things? Did you take joy in collecting each one to turn into the museum for the living bug display? Then Bug & Seek might be for you!
Catch Bugs and Revitalize the Museum
You’ve just sunk your life savings into buying the rundown, abandoned insectarium with the lofty dream of restoring it and refilling it with varieties of local bugs. The museum in Bug & Seek was once the lifeblood of the town, but someone stole the bugs in the dead of night. Now it’s up to you to hone your bug catching skills and breathe life back into the place.
Bug & Seek has over 175 different real-life bugs for you to capture. Ranging from super common, to some of the most rare bugs to exist, you’ll have a long list of exciting species to look for. You’ll find them throughout the cozy world of Buggburg. Visit the sandy beaches, dark caves, lush forests, saturated wetlands, and even the local university. Each bug comes with a humorous tagline and informational description so you can learn about them, too. Once you’ve captured a bug, take it to your museum to put it on display.
At the museum, you have total control over everything. You can choose from different wallpaper, flooring options, even the tanks you’ll display bugs in come in a variety of options. Expand the museum and build new wings as your collection grows. Bug & Seek even allows you to change your wardrobe and upgrade your tools to make bug catching even easier.
While you’re running around Buggburg, get to know the locals, as well. Bug & Seek has over 17 townspeople for you to meet. They’ll give you missions to complete, and reward you with new gear, items, secrets and gossip, and maybe even haiku. Maybe you can even solve the mystery of the Great Bug Heist!
Bug & Seek is coming to Steam sometime this year! There is currently a demo available, and you can add the game to your Wishlist to keep an eye on it.
Humble Bundle is a great resource for the thrifty gamer with their bundle offers. Pick a bundle, then choose what you wish to pay. It’s a great way to grab a bunch of games for cheap. Right now, Humble Bundle has a Cozy Games bundle perfect for trying out a bunch of games you may have had your eye on! And these are all worthy of playing. They’re cute, cozy, and wholesome. Some feature powerful stories, while some are just perfect for kicking back and relaxing with.
This offer ends in 20 days, so take your time to decide, but don’t let it pass by!
Cat Cafe Manager
Cat Cafe Manager has you taking over your grandmother’s derelict cafe in the sleepy town of Caterwaul Way. Restore the cafe, renovate it, and decorate it as you wish, turning it into an inviting home for the plethora of cats that call Caterwaul Way home. Hire employees to help manage the cafe, and explore the village to befriend the inhabitants and learn new recipes.
Witchy Life Story
In Witchy Life Story you’re the youngest member of the magical von Teasel family, but you’re not exactly their pride and joy. In fact, you have one more chance to prove yourself or your witch training is over. So, you arrive in the village of Flora to try and save their harvest festival. You have two weeks to make it a success. So, gather herbs, brew potions, get to know the townspeople, and even cast some spells. Maybe cause a little chaos, even.
Here Comes Niko
Play as the adorable Niko, who’s just become a professional friend for Tadpole Inc. in Here Comes Niko! You’ll explore different scenic islands while making friends with people you come across. Complete requests for them by catching fish and bugs, solving puzzles, and even just listening to them. If you’re lucky, they’ll pay you and you can then invest in a train system to get to new islands!
Welcome to the Grove! You’re its new guardian, and it’s your duty to rebuild the village and uncover the story of its past. Garden Story is a chill wholesome game where you’ll complete quests to defend against encroaching Rot, gather resources, restore, and improve the town. There’s even a way to turn off combat to make it even cozier to play!
Lemon Cakeis an adorable little game about restoring a run-down, haunted bakery. Grow fruit and care for animals, who provide ingredients for your bakery. Repair, furnish, and decorate every room to create an inviting little business. Mix and bake up some fantastic recipes, and maybe even convince the ghost to help you out!
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
Join Alba as she visits her grandparents on a once-beautiful Mediterranean island in Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. She’s ready to explore the island with her friend Ines, but when she sees an animal in trouble, she realizes she needs to help it. As Alba, you’ll start a whole campaign to clean up the island! Convince the townspeople to help out and gather volunteers to restore the island and help the wildlife.
A Short Hike
A Short Hike is about exactly that, hiking! Spend time in the peaceful mountainside of Hawk Peak Park simply exploring. Hike the marked trails or explore the wild back country. Climb some rocky cliffs. Glide over lush landscapes. Take your time to absorb the beautiful surroundings and meet other hikers. Perhaps you can help each other out. Even discover some treasures!
Assemble With Care
Assemble with Care features a meaningful, evocative story line about Maria, a globe-trotting antique restorer as she arrives in Bellariva. She wants to help the inhabitants fix their personal items, but discovers it’s their personal lives that are starting to fracture. It’s harder to fix those, but she’s determined to help. You’ll solve puzzles by fixing items brought to her, meet the townsfolk, and tune into a lovely soundtrack inspired by the 80s.
65% off Coupon for Haven Park
Unfortunately, Haven Park isn’t included in this bundle, just a lovely 65% off coupon! It’s a great discount for such a cute game where you play as Flint, who has just taken over his grandmother’s beloved park. He wants to make it a park campers will love, so it’s up to you to help him out. Fulfill each camper’s wishes and build whatever their hearts desire. Happy campers will attract more business, which means more quirky characters for you to talk to and enjoy!
It’s no secret: Stardew Valley is my favorite cozy game; it’s possibly my all time favorite. I’m eagerly, and impatiently awaiting the release of Haunted Chocolatier, too. Until then, I’m always on the lookout for the next great farming sim. There are some great ones out there, and many more coming out that have potential. One Lonely Outpost was definitely one I’ve had my eye on for a while. Cozy farming sim where you restore the dying planet to its lush former glory and establish a brand new colony of people? Sign me up! Except, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
You can find One Lonely Outpost on Steam, and it is undoubtedly cute, and getting to restore the planet, while watching the flora and fauna slowly return is heart-warming. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment from rebuilding the world into something liveable for my character and the NPCs. Getting to live on a planet that isn’t just some carbon copy of Earth, but actually feels like a surreal, alien planet is perfect. It immerses you into the story more, and makes the game just different enough, but with familiar elements.
What I really enjoyed was that sprinklers unlock early game. I can ramp up my farming almost immediately because of this, and ended up building a sprawling farm. There’s no endless struggling to complete tasks for in-game months while fighting your tiny amount of energy. Plus, it doesn’t feel like an end-game condition or after-thought. I can’t express enough how happy I was to get those sprinklers early.
I know I just praised the sprinklers, but I have to also express how clunky they are. You have the sprinkler itself, which only waters crops within a specific radius of the sprinkler head. That’s normal and common in farming games. However, One Lonely Outpost also requires you to have a water pump placed near a water source, which will then provide water for the sprinklers to water crops. Then, you need solar panels to power those pumps. And each item has a specific range, so to cover a wide area, you’ll need multiples of each. Luckily, you can place a water pump by a water source, then place another water pump within the area of the first, and daisy chain the pumps to cover an area. However, if you’re wanting an aesthetic farm plot, it’s going to take some real planning.
The map is another problem for me. It’s SO low tech. You’re over here crafting food processors, forges, and water pumps from parts, but your map only shows you a broad overview of the One Lonely Planet world. It doesn’t zoom into the specific spot in a region you’re in. It doesn’t have visuals so you can find the paths to other regions. You just have to guess, and really commit the place to memory. Nevermind not having icons for the NPCs, which is fine. Stardew Valley does the same, and that was workable. It just feels a little silly that we’re building a brand new colony with solar panels and cooking stations we’ve crafted, but the map is basically useless.
Fishing is usually my least liked activity in farming sims, because they’re often just annoying. Stardew Valley, for example, has got to be my least favorite fishing activity. It gets easier with practice and new items, but it’s often the skill I ignore when I play. However, the fishing mechanic in One Lonely Outpost is perhaps worse than that. You get this cool little fishing drone that you release into a body of water, which initiates a minigame.
You control the drone by moving left or right, and dashing forward to catch a fish. Then, you play a little minigame where you click when the indicator is inside a tiny bar that moves. Sometimes it’s fast, and sometimes you do this up to three times, and this is what determines if you catch the fish. Unfortunately, the drone maneuverability is not on par with the fish. It’s slow and cumbersome, while the fish are swift and swim away if you approach too close. You also need to resurface before the battery runs out, or you lose your drone, forcing you to buy a new one or make a new one. They’re not that cheap, either.
You can buy drones and other items from Linny. Except, Linny is the new Marnie. I think I successfully caught her in her shop twice, maybe three times since she moved to the planet. I imagine she has a specific schedule I just wasn’t able to suss out, but it sure did make buying necessary items from her unduly difficult.
What really bothered me was the glitching. Most of the time, using my bug catching drone bugged the whole game. When it’s out, it shows an area on the round so you can see if you’re close enough to catch a bug. If I had the drone out and walked to a new region, that area disappeared and I just had to guess. Then, it morphed into only showing up when in one specific region. This issue also caused the areas shown for sprinklers, water pumps, and solar panels. So, I struggled to rearrange my farm unless I did it first thing when turning on the game and before I ever used my bug catching drone.
It has potential, and some of my complaints are more personal preference than a problem with the game. However, there were enough problems that I just didn’t vibe with the game. One Lonely Outpost is in Early Access, though, so there is hope that it has the wrinkles ironed out and it improves. I truly hope it does, too, because I enjoyed the atmosphere of it. Until then, I rate it:
Remember way back in the ‘90s when technology was wildly evolving and we got fun things like GigaPets and Tamagotchis? I guess they’ve made a comeback lately. However, instead of having yet another item to clutter up your counters with, check out Catgotchi: Virtual Pet, instead!
In Catgotchi, you raise your very own pixel-cat. Take care of all of its needs, and be rewarded with a happy, healthy little kitty friend! You can even raise multiple cats. With a relaxing gameplay loop and brief gameplay sessions, Catgotchi is perfect for those looking to fill a little bit of time.
Dave the Diver is a casual 2D deep-sea exploration and fishing game. You control Dave, a diver who explores the depths of the ocean at night and runs a sushi restaurant during the day. He is in search of treasure and looking to solve puzzles. It is up to you (and Dave) to unravel the mysteries of the Blue Hole as you explore its depths.
The game features a variety of different environments to explore, including beautiful coral reefs, enticing shipwrecks, and even the mysterious Mariana Trench. Dave must use his diving gear to survive in the harsh conditions of the deep ocean, including low oxygen levels and high pressure. You can also use your trusty harpoon to catch fish as you explore.
Don’t forget to make your restaurant successful, though. The profits you earn from selling sushi will fund your deep-sea adventures. Collect resources and use your income to upgrade your equipment or buy new weapons to prepare for what lurks in the depths. If you run out of oxygen, you’ll leave your precious fish and finds behind!
You’ll also encounter a quirky, but fun and lovable cast of characters, plus a full story. Encounter fun jokes, goofy spoofs, and other humorous scenes as you get to know your customers and others.
Dave the Diver features a combination of pixel and 3D graphics to provide a stunning art style with breathtaking ocean scenery. The game is set in a realistic marine environment and includes over 200 different kinds of sea creatures for you to discover while you explore, complete quests, and play minigames.
Dave the Diver is available in Early Access on Steam now. Developer MINTROCKET plans to release the full game in June of this year.